Hard Work Brings Profit

By Vic Odarve

I placed all the examination papers in my table preparing for a week-long marking or checks for the final grade. I know it would be a long way to work it out. As usual, I looked first to my favorite students to check their performances and see to it if they got correct answers on the difficult problems. In engineering courses, problems are usually a part of the exams.

Sometimes a university life is a pain

It is the joy of the teachers that the majority of the students will pass the exam, and of course, checking first among the class best performers serves as the jumpstart of the undertaking to lift up your day.

To my surprise, the script of the best class performers was not in the bundled answer sheets. Just a day before I completed the work, I called the attention of the Department dean if any information about this student on why she failed to take the final exam. To my dismay, the dean informed me that the student failed to secure the required exam permit. She failed to settle her outstanding school fees obligation.

As the grade submission drew nearer, I proceeded to compute the class grade following the established guidelines. I am no longer interested to see her as the top performers of the class. Like in a game of chess, trying to salvage a draw from a difficult position is itself a win. True, as I encoded her overall final period performance without final exams, she still passed with a barely passing grade of 75%. Somewhat a miracle! Her admirable performance during prelim and midterm periods contributed it all. Then, I think to myself, ‘life is sometimes cruel.’

Recently, I took a vacation to my birthplace and attended their annual fiesta celebration. On the land of my ancestors, I visited a piece of land I inherited from my parents. There, I saw beautiful and bearing flower trees. They look like Christmas trees.

A rocky terrain but trees struggle to grow

But I was shocked to see that it grew from the rocky lot where other plants seldom survived. How the roots can obtain water during summer where rain seldom pour down? I pondered for a moment. While walking slowly seeing the beautiful scenery of rice terraces, I remember my student who was struggling in pain over her grades in the mathematics of the last semester. What an irony! This beautiful tree is trying to survive from a rocky ground like my student salvaging a grade of 75%.

Obstacles are part of our journey in life and sometimes destroyed many people because they gave up and turned their focus away from their dreams. When times get rough, life simply falls apart. But for the student and the trees, they have to live and work hard in order to survive.

Despite all these trials, life marched on and turned out positive.

The Bible puts it, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23

So, be it!

 

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